British Speedgolf Championship: Buckinghamshire professional Luke Willett took the title from Kent amateur George Boxall.
Pro Plays 36 Holes Under 80 Minutes To Win British Speedgolf Championship
PGA professional Luke Willett won the British Open Speedgolf Championship at The Springs Golf Club near Wallingford in Oxfordshire.
Contested over two rounds on two successive mornings, the 19th and 20th September, Luke Willett completed the first round in 37 minutes 59 seconds with a gross score of 77 (five-over-par), and the second 18 in 39 minutes 57 seconds with a gross score of 82.
His total Speedgolf score over the two days was 236:56 – That score is calculated by adding the time taken and the gross score together.
With score and speed to consider, Speedgolf requires both athletic and golfing ability.
Watch: GM Editor Mike Harris recently played Speedgolf with Luke Willett-
Participants have to run as quickly as possible between shots but not be too breathless to make a good swing or stroke upon reaching their ball.
Finding the optimum pace to maximise golf performance is the key challenge and consistency is crucial.
Players use fewer clubs (up to 7) which are carried by hand or in a lightweight golf bag.
Scorers in golf buggies tracked the field of 17 Speedgolfers at The Springs, keeping pace with the competitors who moved quickly, dispensing with the usual golfing routines and practice swings – taking golf back to its basics.
Kent’s George Boxall finished second in the championship to Willett.
He was slightly quicker than the Buckinghamshire professional with a total time of just over 75 minutes.
But Boxall’s total gross score was six higher than Willett’s, demonstrating the importance of golfing prowess to Speedgolf success.
Former World Speedgolf champion Rob Hogan from Ireland was a close third.
Scott Richardson from Buckinghamshire made history by becoming the first amputee competitor in the world to compete in a national Speedgolf Championship.
He completed his first 18 holes in under 75 minutes and the next morning thrilled again by going even faster in 71 minutes, 16 seconds.
Scott has been playing golf for 10 years, always as a leg below the knee amputee following a racing accident whilst competing in the Isle of Man TT races back in 2000.
His best round of the two days was his first where he shot 98 strokes in 74 minutes 40 secs giving him a Speedgolf score of 172:40 – a target for other amputee golfers who fancy giving Speedgolf a try.
The youngest in the field was William Kay, aged 18, who delivered two sub 50-minute rounds and is clearly one to watch in the future.
There was no prize purse for the winners at The Springs GC, simply the opportunity to become a British Champion and to enjoy an unforgettable experience.
Speedgolf is much more physically demanding than traditional golf, but it also delivers greater fitness benefits, whilst addressing the issue of pace of play head on.
More general information on the sport can be found on the British Speedgolf website.